Backyard Wildlife Color of the Week: BLUE

from Wildlife Promise

“Oh! `darkly, deeply, beautifully blue’, / As someone somewhere sings about the sky.”
-Lord Byron

Welcome to the second week of Garden for Wildlife Month! This week, we are featuring backyard flora and fauna that are blue–a cool, soothing color.  (Did you miss last week’s color? View the RED blog here.)  Which of these blue beauties do you find in your backyard?

These photos were donated by past participants in the National Wildlife® Photo Contest. To enter your photos in this year’s contest, visit the contest site.

Source of bird facts: Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds

Indigo Bunting

Like all other blue birds, Indigo Buntings lack blue pigment. Their jewel-like color comes instead from microscopic structures in the feathers that refract and reflect blue light, much like the airborne particles that cause the sky to look blue. (Photo: Steve Creek)

Bluebells

Bluebells have smooth gray-green foliage and nodding clusters of pink buds that open into light blue trumpet-shaped flowers. When they grow in masses, bluebells make a spectacular show. (Photo: Sandra Brooks-Mathers)

Tree Swallows

Outside of the breeding season the Tree Swallow congregates into enormous flocks and night roosts, sometimes numbering in the hundreds of thousands. They gather about an hour before sunset at a roost site, forming a dense cloud. (Photo: Paul Lackey)

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebirds typically have more than one successful brood per year. Young produced in early nests usually leave their parents in summer, but young from later nests frequently stay with their parents over the winter. (Photo: James Alligood)

American Robin Eggs

An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. (Photo: Laura Epps)

Blue Jay

Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping to spread oak trees after the last glacial period. (Photo: Ray Whitt)

Spicebush Swallowtail

The Spicebush Swallowtail is a common black swallowtail butterfly found in North America, also known as the Green-Clouded butterfly. The swallowtails are unique in that even while feeding, they continue to flutter their wings. (Photo: Joyce Walton)

Great Blue Heron

Despite their impressive size, Great Blue Herons weigh only 5 to 6 pounds thanks in part to their hollow bones—a feature all birds share. The oldest Great Blue Heron, based on banding recovery, was 24 years old. (Photo: Steve Duffey)

Blue Dasher

The Blue Dasher is a dragonfly of the skimmer family. It is common and widely distributed in the United States. Although the species name P. longipennis means "long wings", the wings are not particularly long. (Photo: Bill Houghton)

Steller’s Jay

Steller’s Jays have the dubious honor of being one of the most frequently misspelled names in all of bird watching. Up close, the bird’s dazzling mix of azure and blue is certainly stellar, but that’s not how you spell their name. (Photo: Lori Zappas)

Certify Your Garden as a Wildlife HabitatCreate a haven for birds and other critters in your own backyard and have it designated as an official Certified Wildlife Habitat site. Certify in the month of May and we’ll plant a tree in your honor!>>